In the still air, a small disk of ash falls spinning like a demonic snowflake. The sun smolders on the ridgetop between columns of oaks.

Canada geese. What leaf is small and black and falls more slowly than a feather? A fire dances up in the trash burner, the brightest thing.

Fire engines wailing through the gap, air horns, the frantic melisma of ambulances. The wind blows snow against my cheek—pinpricks of cold.